Last night, fuelled by the last fumes of a transglobal Jet Lag, difficulty adjusting to the heat and humidity of Sydney, a few mexican beers and and the last of a bottle of 12 year old Glenlivet, I discovered possibly the worst app I have seen in a long time. A LONG time.
Now we all know that I was the author of the AppRegret series way back when and got me a reputation for being really mean about the work of App Developers. Mea Culpa – it is true, but since then I have got to know a number of Devs and my hard heart has softened slightly. Also I was much broker back then and dropping $5 on something substandard was a much bigger deal than it is right now. But this app deserves a special mention.
Yes folks, my nomination for the CrApp award 2014 goes to: BeatmakerHD
This baby sells for a princely $13 on the AU app store, to put this into perspective that is the same price as a professional quality piece of work like Sunrizer, or the current price of DM1 and Stochastik combined. One would say I had expectations…. namely I expected a $13 App! I was browsing about, drunk, when AppShopper informed me that BeatMakerHD had been updated, with 700 new sounds. I like sounds. I like them a lot…. so I bought it.
What $13 buys you is this:
a basic 8 voice x 32 step sequencing grid (you cannot change the length), similar to that found on most drum apps (including a lot of free drum apps) with the amazing feature of being able to mute voices. You can’t audition the voices though, or change them, or load different ones, or change the LEVELS or panning or apply FX or anything else… just trigger away. So far we are falling way below the levels set by free apps like the S4 rhythm composers.. or any number of fart/cat pianos.
You get about 50 kits, helpfully labelled with generic non-descriptive names… but remember you cannot audition any of the sounds. The sounds, there seem to be some drums, a lot of orchestra breaks culled from the cheeziest of schlock R&B tracks, a lot of bleepy bloopy things and (bizarrely) a load of long samples featuring delay… which would obviously be useless when used with any tempo other than an exact multiple of the tempo of the recorded delay effect. Also, I am no mathematician, but I am fairly sure that 50 x 8 is 400, so where the 700 new sounds are hidden is anyone’s guess. So the only way to audition the sounds is to switch on a few steps in the editor and run the pattern with the chosen kit. The resulting noise was so vile that my 7 year old, not noted for her sensitivity to noise, complained and asked me to shut the sound off.
Interestingly the kit selection dialog sometimes freezes up and refuses to close, and sometimes crashes the app.
There are some options below to login and send your amazing output to A&R men, whereupon you will be snapped up by the record industry. It has Audiobus, though god knows why!
In summary you are buying what would ordinarily be a sub-par free app, at a premium price. If you want more of the same the dev has a number of other apps at the same price that look every bit as good, and in one case looks absolutely identical. Crack out your itunes cards!!